Shortly after the fire at Hackley, I decided that I needed to seriously look at the amount of junk I’d accumulated in my house… a few months later, much of the “nope, don’t need this” stuff was finding new homes courtesy of the Salvation Army. But then there was The Collection. I’d never really gotten rid of any of my books before, not even the ones I didn’t like. A few were lost when people borrowed them and failed to return them, but for the most part, when I read a book it went onto my shelves.
I had around 4,000 books on various shelves in my house. And that wasn’t counting the books I hadn’t yet read. Or would be getting at conferences over the next few years. The then-recent H1N1 scare got me thinking. What if, I thought to myself…
what if there’s a pandemic, and we’re all locked into our homes with someone bringing food, etc.? and the publishing industry shuts down for years? would I re-read this book? would I re-read that book? what if….
Before anyone says anything in the comments, know that my Upper School Librarian and a junior have both yelled at me quite forcefully and warned me never to think like this again.
Anyway, many boxes later, I was down to about 1,700 books. And now, here I am, nearly a decade later, moving and thinking… No, don’t worry! I’m not thinking about health or lockdowns. I’m thinking a good thing, actually. I’m thinking
the next time you move will be into your “forever” home, because you’ll be retired. will you re-read this book in retirement? will you want to re-read that book in retirement?
See, nothing to worry about.
Anyway, I’m sorting through the books, some are part of a series I read piecemeal. For example, the D.C.I. Banks series – I read a book where he first meets Annie (1999), and the next Banks was the most recent one. So while I don’t really care about the mystery, I’d like to re-read the series in order and then get rid of them. So they’re staying. Still, I think the ~1,700 books currently in The Collection will be down to probably ~1,500 or less, everything will fit onto the eight 8′ bookcases my father built, and no one will be hurt by my thought process.**
** my Upper School Librarian is very sceptical about that part.